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Penny Pritzker

For Solowheel maker, a patent rights nightmare in China

For Solowheel maker, a patent rights nightmare in China

It's unclear when the Solowheel conquered Beijing. The personal transport device is a self-balancing electric unicycle with a hubcap-sized wheel and footholds on either side — a sort of Segway but on one wheel and without a handle. Over the last few years, China's capital is seeing more upright commuters zipping through traffic like minnows among migrating trout. That should be cause for celebration to Shane Chen, a Camas, Wash., businessman who invented the Solowheel in 2010. But his "dream of creating the simplest mode of transportation meant for everyone" has left Chen, 58, neck-deep in the country's fledgling intellectual property rights system,...

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